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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Excerpted on author's behalf:

The Union victory at Pea Ridge, Arkansas on March 7, 1862 solidified Union control of Missouri for the remainder of the American Civil War, but small guerrilla forces opposed to the Union remained on the loose to plague the people of the state for three more years. The loss at Pea Ridge resulted in orders for the defeated Confederate forces to move east of the Mississippi River for operations in that theater, which deprived General Sterling Price, commander of the Missouri State Guard, of troops for his army. However, the idea that there were thousands of men with loyalties to the South persisted in Price’s imagination. He sent several officers into Missouri to recruit men and bring them back south to join the units under his command. Colonel Joseph Chrisman Porter, a longtime resident of Lewis County in northeast Missouri, was one of these officers. Porter successfully recruited a large group of men and initiated combat operations, which took the Union occupiers by surprise before he was forced to withdraw. In the grand strategic picture of the war, Porter’s campaign in northeast Missouri was fairly inconsequential, but he accomplished his primary missions: recruiting soldiers for the Confederacy and causing massive unrest.

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